An absolute must for anyone who is visiting Australia's number one city, especially those who have very little time, is a bike ride around the city. Rent a cycle on Flinders Wharf at Federation Square. The bike shop will advise on the route and give you a map. The most scenic route takes about two hours at a leisurely pace with plenty of stops. It takes you through the banks of the Yarra, the Botanical Gardens, Kings Domain, Albert Park, St Kilda beach, South Melbourne beach and South Bank.
The stretch from St Kilda beach up to South Melbourne beach and the station pier (where the Spirit of Tasmania docks) is the most picturesque segment. If weather permits, stop and have a dip in the sea or have a drink at one of the many seaside cafes. It's very difficult to get lost. The route is circular and flat nearly all the way.
Rent a bike on Flinders wharf at Federation Square. Ring 9654 7262 or visit the website. www.rentabike.net.au/
Every second Sunday Quito closes a 10km route to traffic and thousands of recreational cyclists take to the streets. Cyclists - you can hire bikes and helmets to join in this fun event for all the family.
Equinoccio y Queseras del Medio, Quito
593 2 3226502
This website offers a web-based cycle route planner you can use to search cycle routes anywhere in Europe. The planner combines several existing, described routes to make your cycle route complete. It's a Dutch site originally, but with the English translation you can use it anyway.
In summer consider renting a public bicycle. The cost of three days is 125 kr (or 250 kr for the whole season). You can get the card to use the bikes at any SL centre. You can use a Bicycle for three hours, then place it back in one of the 70 stations in Stockholm, and you can grab another one.
It's available from 6am to 6pm every day.
A holiday cycling company for both professional and leisure cycling and biking holidays in Andalucia. They specialise in organising road cycling holidays, mountain bike holidays, leisure cycling holidays , triathlon and winter training camps, family cycling holidays, a white village tour and winter cycling holidays. They provide guided cycling vacations and self-led tours. I highly recommend this company if you want to discover the stunning Sierra de Grazalema in western Andalucia by bike.
Address: Calle Ronda 25, Montecorto, Malaga Province, 29430, Spain
Telephone: 0034 952 18 40 42
There are three major bike rental shops in Chamonix - Legend, Grand Bi and Zero G. Legend is near the Aiguille de Midi lift, Grand Bi is near MBC and Zero G is on the main street.
I recommend Zero G for their current-year specialised rental bikes, English speaking staff and good customer service.
The centre of the city is not large, so it makes this place easy to visit in a day.
You can choose to visit Florence by bike, following the cycle tracks that reach the most famous historic sites.
What to see:
- Piazza della Signoria
- Piazzale Michelangelo
- Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square)
- The Bargello Museum
- Ponte Vecchio: To one side of the bridge there is the majestic bust of the most famous Florentine goldsmith, Benvenuto Cellini.
- Bike along the romantic Viale dei Colli up to Piazzale Michelangelo to see the wonderful landscape of Florence
- Panoramic view of the Boboli Gardens
Bike rental estimated prices:
1 hour - about 3 Euro
1 day - from a minimum of 14 Euro to a maximum of 27 Euro
As someone who has lived a long time in Valencia I think I can give a decent review on all bike rental places in Valencia to enjoy the wonderful Turia park.
At first, there was only one choice to rent bikes in Valencia and that was Orange bikes but nothing ever stays the same for long. Of the four main rental services Valencia Bikes is the most expensive but great for very large groups over 20 but be prepared to pay a lot.
Next, we move on to Do You Bike, who have decent bikes but do be choosy as some of them are lousy plus they are five euros more at the weekend. Orange's bikes have a wide range of bikes at a decent price but charge a whopping €250 deposit so make sure you check the bike over before you go or get bit where it hurts.
The newest is Soul Cycles run by a Dutch girl. Their bikes are different all together with an emphasis on fun and comfort such as City & Beach cruisers or the choppers for the easy riders out there - the same prices as pretty much everyone and cheaper at the weekends than some others. To say bikes are dangerous in the Turia is ludicrous as it is 11 kms of flat block-paved path suitable for all types of transport from roller bladers and skaters to MTBs and little folding bikes.
To sum it up, if you want a good MTB for long-distance jaunts into the interior go to Orange Bikes, if you want fun and comfort and some extra information or a chat go to Soul Cycle and then Do You Bike for availability as they have a large amount of bikes but they are pretty much a get them in and out kind of affair. All in all, there is something out there for all tastes.
On a friendliness scale: 1. Soul Cycles 2. Do You Bike 3. Orange Bikes 4. Valencia Bikes. Just my two cents' worth!
Stresa, like many of the other towns which reside on the lakes, is a typical tourist trap, but is good if you are short of time and fancy some mountain biking or walking (skiing in the winter). You can hire bikes from the cable car at Stresa for €10, put the bike in the cable car to Mottarone and bike down. The routes are clearly signposted and there are free route maps. If you take route L1, one third of the route is on road (not so fun!) but there are other routes you can take.
Stresa has it's own train station. You take the train from Milan Centrale towards Domodossola, the journey takes 1 hour 10 minutes.
Uba is one of the greatest places to cycle. The roads are great (mostly concrete), very little traffic, friendly people and it’s as safe. They say the crime is almost non-existent. It’s not an expensive country and you can have a great time with less than CUC $ 40 a day, which equates to around UK £25 (March 2008).
Get the NYC DOT bicycle map (download or free at bike shops). Also note DOT has information on bridge closings. Sometimes if a bridge is closed they have a free van service. Stick to the paths on the map, watch out for pedestrians, and car doors. Good luck.
www.bikeforums.net is a good source of info. See info on avoiding bike theft. Hint: get a strong U lock and take the seat post with you.
Consider buying a folding bicycle in NYC and returning with it. bfold.com, nycewheels.com and others have folding bikes. Strida would be a good bicycle for touring NYC. Dahon make very nice general purpose folding bikes. Folding bikes can usually be brought on the subway and trains. A bit iffy on crowded buses.
This is a great little hotel in a superb location for both (snow-sure) skiing in winter and outdoor activities the rest of the year. Amazing views in all directions. Good home-cooked food and very reasonable prices. They've got a lovely big garden and sunny terrace where you can relax/read/gaze at the stunning mountains across the valley. It's easy to reach from Salzburg, Linz or Graz airports.
We've been there in winter and also on walking holidays in summer and can't decide which we liked better. The village (Bad Mitterndorf) is really unspoilt by tourism - no package tours go there and the atmosphere is really Austrian. It's on the edge of the Austrian Lake District - great for swimming in the hot summers! We just keep on going back for more. Oh, and they've got mountain bikes that guests can use free of charge, too.
Flexible cycle schedule taking you round the base of Kilimanjaro, across the plains to the Serengeti and through the cooling shadows of the Rift Valley Wall.
Spectacular scenery, unique cultural experiences and a wildlife safari on top! How can you resist?
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Casa Tío Juan is a self-catering rental house that sleeps up to 12. It's a traditional village house in the centre of Hoyos del Espino in the heart of the Sierra de Gredos. We had a great time there and will definitely be returning! Great mountains, stunning scenery and so much to do. The village has bars and restaurants, shops, a bank - everything that you could want within a few minutes walk. By car you can vistit Ávila, Toledo, Salamanca. The Sierra de Gredos is an undiscovered gem. Go before everyone else does!
Once your kids can ride a bike there's no better way to see Paris than cycling about it. The high spot of our recent half-term break was a morning spent exploring the Marais, Bastille, Louvre, St. Germain de Pres, Les Halles and many back streets in between.
Our guide, Paul, founded Bike About Tours with a friend and gives a charming and personal view of a city he clearly loves. Some of his enthusiasm rubbed off on the kids who particularly relished spotting locations from Ratatouille, or finding out how many Parisians slip in dog poo each day. Paul takes only safe back streets and cycleways, stopping for lunch at a boulangerie on the way.
Every so often we would park the bikes and explore a secret garden or a hidden alleyway on foot, letting Paris work its magic on children and adults alike. By the end of four hours we felt like we belonged. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
Paris is perfect for those with kids, and especially the park at La Villette. On the Canal de l'Ourq there is the awesome dragon slide (almost two stories high), playgrounds designed for specific age groups, a submarine my five-year-old nephew wants to return to with his big brother and cat (!) (3€ each). Just by the park bikes can be hired that take the whole family along the traffic-free canalside to the forest of Sevran, where coffee and ice cream can be had in the old poudrerie, where Nobel of the Nobel prize worked - well worth a visit. And if it rains, back at La Villette there is always the Cite des Sciences - again with exhibits tailored to tots and to slightly older kids. Further afield, there's Paris Plage for sunbathing, sandcastles, misters, boules, rock-climbing (5 years old and upwards), the fountains and concerts at Parc Andre Citroen, the fireworks on July 14, or the swimming pool on a barge by the Francois Mitterand Bibliotheque, or the fantastic mini Paris Plage at Canal St Martin where another five-year-old loved her tot-sized pedalo and the tea dances and water fountains. Paris is perfect for families, especially in the summer, and since almost everything referred to above is free or cheap, it won't break the bank. Plus - no hours spent travelling to, or queueing at, airports.
Just get on Eurostar and you are within 15-20 minutes walk of most of the above.
Want to drive to Padstow to sample the various Rick Stein fare on offer? Here's a tip. Don't. Get on your bike instead. Go to Wadebridge (a pleasant enough place in itself), park there and then cycle down the beautiful, flat, and car free Camel Valley Trail along the river. There are ample bike hire places right by the trail itself, all with baby trailers, child-seats, kids' bikes (we took a three-month-old and a very excited two-and-a-half year old) and decent grown up bikes. Even for the seriously unfit/uncoordinated, it takes all of 45 minutes to amble into 'Padstein'. Once there, you avoid the six mile traffic queue and can securely park your bike for 50p in the many 'bike parks' at the end of the trail. And now you've worked up an appetite, Padstow is your oyster...
Another tip, avoid the hordes and head for the back streets - the Rick Stein Cafe (his 'third' restaurant) has his trademark great food, is very child-friendly, and doesn't take bookings. On the day we were there (a gloriously sunny August day) we had to wait for 20 minutes, which was a shorter than the queue for his fish and chips takeaway!
Off the beaten backpacker trail, this truly unique, extremely well-equipped backpacker accommodation is located on the idyllic East Cape, just a ten-minute drive to art deco Napier, Hastings or sleepy Havelock North.
With only 11 beds, it is important to book ahead but well worth a few days' stay to relax and enjoy the surrounding award-winning vineyards.
Those who enjoy cycling and wine (or even just a good day out) should book themselves on the 'on yer bike' wine tour for a unique and entertaining wine tasting experience (bookable through the hostel). The relaxed owners with a small, toy, farm holding and soon-to-be vineyard are a pleasure.
Birdwatchers, or those who enjoy another good day out should try Gannet Beach Adventures to get a background to the area, excellent views and a chance to see around 17,000 gannets.
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